Witness

Darkness settles around me.  The snow falls heavy and cold.  I long for the white blanket Grandmother knitted years ago.  People pass: people in fast cars coming home from work and heading into warm kitchens and soup bubbling upon the stove; people walking dogs that pause and sniff at me and occasionally even lift their legs.  Occasionally someone slows and glances at me. 

Mostly, I am ignored.

I am thin.  I am faded.  I am dull. 

I remember how the children used to jump upon my ample lap, eyes shining.  There was always enough room for all of them.  They would spend hours with me, constructing ornate forts out of cushions and quilts or just curled up reading thick books, the cat always close at hand, stretching out lazily in the sunshine slanting through lace curtains.

We watched movies together, while the father read his newspaper, the dog parked beside me.  The dog and I shared a secret: when everyone was out of the house, he, too, jumped upon my lap and curled up with me.
I remember listening to their games and their stories and their silliness.

I remember the laughter.
All these years, I absorbed their spills and their tears and their stories.

And this is the thanks I get.
Someone slows.  Pulls up to the curb.  Stops.

A man and a woman get out of a pickup truck.  “Look at that,” the woman says, shaking her head. 
They go to either side of me.  They take hold of me gently and lift me up.  They carry me to the truck.

“That’s a real shame,” the woman says.  “Throwing away a perfectly good couch.”



This was written in response to a prompt from Write On Edge prompt: This week, tell a piece of your story from the point of view of an object who bore witness.


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Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: Witness

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Witness

Darkness settles around me.  The snow falls heavy and cold.  I long for the white blanket Grandmother knitted years ago.  People pass: people in fast cars coming home from work and heading into warm kitchens and soup bubbling upon the stove; people walking dogs that pause and sniff at me and occasionally even lift their legs.  Occasionally someone slows and glances at me. 

Mostly, I am ignored.

I am thin.  I am faded.  I am dull. 

I remember how the children used to jump upon my ample lap, eyes shining.  There was always enough room for all of them.  They would spend hours with me, constructing ornate forts out of cushions and quilts or just curled up reading thick books, the cat always close at hand, stretching out lazily in the sunshine slanting through lace curtains.

We watched movies together, while the father read his newspaper, the dog parked beside me.  The dog and I shared a secret: when everyone was out of the house, he, too, jumped upon my lap and curled up with me.
I remember listening to their games and their stories and their silliness.

I remember the laughter.
All these years, I absorbed their spills and their tears and their stories.

And this is the thanks I get.
Someone slows.  Pulls up to the curb.  Stops.

A man and a woman get out of a pickup truck.  “Look at that,” the woman says, shaking her head. 
They go to either side of me.  They take hold of me gently and lift me up.  They carry me to the truck.

“That’s a real shame,” the woman says.  “Throwing away a perfectly good couch.”



This was written in response to a prompt from Write On Edge prompt: This week, tell a piece of your story from the point of view of an object who bore witness.


Labels: ,

20 Comments:

At January 21, 2012 at 7:46 PM , Anonymous Jennifer O. said...

Totally didn't expect that ending. I thought it was a dejected mom walking along the side of the road. Talk about projection!

 
At January 22, 2012 at 9:48 AM , Anonymous Olivia Brogdon said...

That was excellent.

 
At January 23, 2012 at 3:28 PM , Anonymous The JackB said...

Ooh, I like the couch angle. Didn't see that coming.

 
At January 23, 2012 at 4:32 PM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks, Jennifer. Similar prompt on Story Dam this week.

 
At January 23, 2012 at 4:32 PM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading!

 
At January 23, 2012 at 4:33 PM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading, Jack.

 
At January 24, 2012 at 4:10 AM , Anonymous Asproulla said...

I'm so glad that the couch had a chance to be loved again! Took me a while to figure out the narrator, but it makes a lovely story :)

 
At January 24, 2012 at 4:30 AM , Anonymous Nancy C said...

I love the image of the ample lap, of the couch being the warm, comforting, almost motherlike part of the home.

The bit with the dog made me smile.

And I think the ending is a casual, yet, perfect reveal.

 
At January 24, 2012 at 4:58 AM , Anonymous Victoria KP said...

I couldn't help but feel I don't appreciate our couch as much as I should while I was reading this. I have a tiny kitchen, so it really is the center of our home.

 
At January 24, 2012 at 5:55 AM , Anonymous J. Bruno said...

I love that the dog snuck up there. :-) Such a good and necessary detail. When I was thinking about what to write about for this prompt, I was going through a rolodex in my mind of "stuff". It never occurred to me to write about furniture, but you are right, furniture is probably the thing in your home that has the most stories to tell, huh? I enjoyed this. Great job.

 
At January 24, 2012 at 6:04 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Yeah, I struggled with what to write about as well. And, sad to say, the dog will occasionally sneak up on the couch when we're all out of the house. I've caught him in the act.

 
At January 24, 2012 at 6:05 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading, Victoria. Story Dam has a very similar prompt this week.

 
At January 24, 2012 at 6:05 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks, Nancy - I wanted to disguise the fact that it was, indeed, a couch until the very end.

 
At January 24, 2012 at 6:05 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading.

 
At January 24, 2012 at 7:33 AM , Anonymous Lindypsmith said...

Loved this. Couches maybe know more about us than any other object.

 
At January 24, 2012 at 10:41 AM , Anonymous Ashley A said...

very good. I love our couch, which I found on craigslist. My husband wants to replace it with a new one

 
At January 24, 2012 at 11:06 AM , Anonymous Natalie @MamaTrack said...

I felt so sorry for the sofa! They really do bear witness to it all, don' they? Great job with the prompt.

 
At January 24, 2012 at 3:09 PM , Anonymous KathleenBasi said...

Nice. The voice is great; if an object could speak, this one is the most plausible I've read--mine included! :)

 
At January 24, 2012 at 5:59 PM , Anonymous katieross83 said...

Brilliant! Poor couch. It's so easy to throw things away and to forget that even simple things, like couches, have so many stories to tell. I loved this. One of my favorites so far!

 
At January 24, 2012 at 6:52 PM , Anonymous Tracy said...

I have a habit of personifying objects (which is one of the reasons I have trouble getting rid of stuff and am worried about becoming a hoarder!) so these are all killing me. This one is especially poignant, as a dog-lover the dog line really got to me. Lovely post.

 

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